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Apology to Burnham over emails

The Department of Health has apologised to Labour's Andy Burnham over the release of confidential emails he claims were used to smear him, ITV News has learnt.

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Labour threatens legal action over alleged 'cover up'

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been threatened with potential legal action by Labour in a row over claims that he ordered a "cover up" of NHS care shortcomings.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Andy Burnham brought in the party's lawyers after Mr Hunt refused to retract an allegation that his Opposition shadow was involved the suppression of a critical report into "failing" hospitals.

They have written to the Cabinet minister warning of further action unless he ends what Labour says is a baseless smear campaign against Mr Burnham.

Read: Tories claim 'overwhelming evidence of cover up'

The Conservatives point to emails showing that the Department of Health under Labour tried to stop details emerging of a hospital scandal involving higher-than-normal death rates relating to relate to Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

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